“If you haven’t used it or worn it in the last six months, you’re not going to so get rid of it” Peter Walsh host of TLC’s Clean Sweep.
The weekend garage sale is a fun North American tradition and perhaps more commonly known as a yard sale South of the Canadian border. It’s a great way to get rid of your unused or unwanted items and turn them from trash into cash! It’s a great way to use that cash and save it for that upcoming family vacation or that item in your favourite store that you have been eyeing for awhile! It’s also a great way to meet some of your local community members and make new friends. For myself and my family, I have adopted the 1 year rule and I find that works best for me. Garage sales can be a FUN event if organized properly, here are some of my quick tips:
- Have a neighbourhood sale – A block or street sale is a real attention grabber especially when bargain hunters hear that there are several families involved therefore, more bargains for them to choose from.
- Advertise your garage sale – Don’t spend money on advertising but definitely get the word out. Use social media…. yes, it’s a powerful tool and it can be free. Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook are some of the social media outlets you may want to consider. If using Facebook you may want to consider creating an event that you can share on your personal page, share on your local community page or group and have others share it! If your local school has a Facebook Page ask if you can advertise your sale, does your local Councilor have a page you can advertise on? Your Church? Library? These are just a few social media ideas you may want to use. You can promote your upcoming sale the old-fashioned way…. via signs! Signs don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, you can get them at your local dollar store and don’t forget about flyers which you can do and print from home. *Remember to include a start and finish time, address, a rain date and few items that will encourage the crowds to come.
- Price and organize items ahead of time – Take your time and chose reasonable prices, remember you want to get rid of your unused/unwanted items. Not sure how to price an item? Do a quick search on Kijiji, Varage Sale (virtual garage sale) or your local Facebook Buy and Sell Group after all you don’t want to give your stuff away and you don’t want to over price something and have it not sell. When pricing an item you may want to give yourself a little wiggle room but please be reasonable. Each item MUST have a price unless you have a bunch of items all the same price and in the same spot, then a sign is perfectly fine.
- Upsell with snacks and drinks – Add a snack/bake and drink stand. Are you a baker? This is an excellent way to generate more revenue and show off your baking skills. People love home-baked goods. When it comes to drinks, you don’t have to have a huge selection…. you may choose to have only water and have your little ones help you with this task. They may want to have a lemonade stand and save up for a toy or a fun day at the amusement park. Both are great ways to make them feel part of the entire event, for them to have a FUN-TASTIC time and, for you to perhaps generate more revenue.
- Saturday or Sunday? – I think Saturdays are better as on Sundays people tend to be busy with family events. However, you may want to pick Sunday as your rain day or wait another week.
- Hold a raffle and make sure you advertise it! – It can be a new item (that you have not use and will not use) , or an item you sell in your everyday business. Do you sell Avon? Arbonne? Steeped Tea? Younique? This is a great way to attract people to your sale (people like to win prizes) and a great way to promote your side business, who knows… you may find a client or two!
- Merchandise, merchandise! – What do I mean? Try to think like a store merchandiser…. You want items to be set up and follow an easy flow. Shoes with shoes, tools with tools, toys with toys and so on…. Use rolling racks for clothes, maybe place items in the same colour palette together, maybe business wear with business wear…. You don’t want sections to feel all cluttered as people will walk away so think like a PRO!!!
- And finally have FUN!!! – Don’t forget if an item does not sell, don’t worry about; you can always have another garage sale, or sell on Kijiji, or on Varage Sale or on your local Facebook Buy and Sell Group. If all those fail then you can always donate. I hope you find my tips useful, please feel free to add your tips in the comments section. Happy Selling and Happy Bargain hunting!